Nearing the peak

17.46 I was now down to 3 continuous reps and 12 rest-pause reps, and the strain was extreme—actually, it had been very severe for some time now. I switched the workouts around so that the first exercise of the week was now the deadlift. On 16 June I did 396 pounds (180 kilos). ^e 396 was a very big moment because it meant that four 20-kilo plates could be put on each end of the bar. Eight 20-kilo plates on a bar for rep work, for a hard gainer who has really suffered over the years, was satisfying in the extreme.

17.47 People like me are the ones conventional bodybuilding throws on the trash heap. After many years of following the popular advice I finally discovered the information that can make even a hard gainer respectable. But the "respectable" is not relative to what the top competitive bodybuilders can do.

Had I not finally pursued basic and abbreviated training I probably would not have gotten past 160 pounds bodyweight and a 300-pound one-rep deadlift.

17.48 On 23 June I deadlifted 182.5 kilos (401.5 pounds) for 15 reps, all of them rest pause. I was ecstatic.

17.49 ^ough I had been doing 15-rep sets, I had long harbored a thought that 15 reps would not be enough and that I would need to do the "magic" 20 to feel that the job was complete.

17.50 On 30 June I poured it all out and did 18 so-very-demanding reps with the 400-pound brute. ^ough it was summer we had a relatively cool and breezy day on the 30th—only 95°f (or 35°c). I could have done the entire 20 reps, but held back because I wanted witnesses other than the usual teenagers at the gym. Except for some local soreness and heavy systemic fatigue, I had no negative reaction to this 400 x 18 workout.

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